Basic and Most Effective Video Lighting Setup

Video Lighting SetupVideo Lighting Setup

Lighting can be scary for some because not everyone knows about it, and it can sometimes be unclear.

You might think that lighting a video is just putting up lights in front of you, around you, or at whatever you are shooting. Or maybe you thought that you’d turn every single light in your room, and that would light up your video.

Well, you could try that, but chances are you would still end up with a dark, unbalanced, grainy video.

Video Lighting Setup Basics

Now, if you are shooting outside in daylight, there is no need to set up lights because sunlight is the best light you can use. However, if you’re shooting inside a room, a studio or indoors, you’ll need good lighting.

Lighting is critical to recording and editing a video (especially if you are a blogger).

It should be so good that it doesn’t get noticed. In this post, I will explain one of the most effective, basic lighting setups you could do and the kind of lights you could use to set this up.

The fundamental setup, and the most used to light a subject on screen, is the Three-Point Lighting.

This is an industry-standard setup used on Photo Shoots, Movies, TV Shows, and the like.


Video Lighting Setup

Video Lighting Setup – three-point setup

1. The first of this setup is  Key Light. This will be your main source of light. This will serve to illuminate the subject. 

It creates shadows and texture, which makes things look natural. Some suggest that if you have a window, you can use that as your Key Light since it is already diffuse light, and natural light is and always will be the best light source.

However, if you don’t live in a house with a big window that could be a possible source of light, then you will need a large diffuse light source.

Since it’s the main source of light, it needs to be bigger and brighter than the rest.

You would not want to place this directly at the subject or directly pointing to your face because that will create a very bright, white, washed-off look, which is not good.

We want the contours of our face to show, so we place this at about a 45-degree angle from you or the subject you are shooting.

  • Soft Box – A Soft Box can be a good Key Light. It’s a lightbox with a film on it that diffuses light from the point light (bulb) into a bigger area.
  • Check these out on Amazon: APUTURE 120D with DOME SOFTBOX / Fotodiox Pro FlapJack Studio / YongNuo YN300-Air.
    Flashpoint Solo Softbox Head & Shoulders 320M 1 MonoLight Kit

2. Fill Light is used to lighten the shadows caused by the Key Light. This will be placed on the opposite side of the key light and should not be as bright as your key light or, worse, brighter than your key.

It should be just this subtle touch of light on the other side of your face to soften up the shadows made by your main light source.

Again, do not point this directly at the subject. Try to angle it and see how the light bounces off. But if you want your video to have a dramatic touch, you may not need to use a fill light.

  • Aputure LS1

3. Rim Light or some call it Back Light, is used to illuminate the edges of the subject in a way to separate the subject from the background, giving your video some depth to it because if it’s just the key light and fills light, your back part will be kind of gloomy and the subject kind of mixes to it, which is a bit meh.

This will make your subject less flat and more dimensional.

COMPLETE LIGHT KITS: StudioPRO Softbox Lighting Kit / StudioPRO S-600BN LED Lighting Kit /  StudioFX Lighting Kit

Tip: Get a light that is adjustable on temperature because it’s a great help in setting the mood for your scene.

Those are the 3 parts of the Three-Point Light Setup. However, you can add more to your video by adding Practical Lights.

  • Practical Lights. These are the lights that you place on your background that can be seen on camera because, let’s say if your background is dark and one of your light is casting a very strong light, it makes your scene looks fake because it just doesn’t mix with the rest of the scene and your viewers might wonder where it’s coming from.

For example, if you have this orange light subtly illuminating the back of your hair and you put a lamp on your background that emits the same light color, viewers may think that it’s coming from that lamp when it’s coming from the rim light. 

Practical lights are used to make your scene more natural-looking, so you can use just about any light that makes sense for it.

A good light source and setup will help your camera to work at its best and give your video that professional look that could boost your videos to the next level.

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